It’s been a busy month for Prescott College Adjunct Faculty Member Brett Hartl. Brett, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Prescott College in conservation biology, is the Government Affairs Director at the Center for Biological Diversity, has been an influential voice on several issues both nationally and here in Arizona.
A February 2nd article in the Prescott Daily Courier discusses changes to the Clean Water Act by the Trump administration and how the newly weakened rules could impact areas like Watson Lake, which for years has designated as “impaired” by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, meaning the lake’s watershed needs a major effort to clean up pollutants in the lake. Relaxing the federal rules could change that designation and allow Prescott to avoid cleaning up Watson Lake. The Center for Biological Diversity is likely to challenge the new rules in court. “The Clean Water Act protects and regulates two basic things - one, the filling of wetlands and streams for development: and then two, what type of pollution is allowed in the water,” he said.
Another issue Hartl has been working on regards grazing livestock along streams and forests of Arizona and New Mexico. The Center for Biological Diversity filed a federal lawsuit in the US District Court of Tucson to order the removal of cattle from allotments in the Apache-Sitgreaves forests in Arizona as well as the Carson and Gila national forests in New Mexico until the Forest Service can properly monitor the effects of grazing on the deterioration of the riparian areas of the forests. Predictably, the Cattle Grower’s Association has decried the suit, citing many other causes of the problems documented in the areas, including fire, floods and drought. Cattle grazing has had widespread impacts on riparian areas -
And finally, Brett appeared on MSNBC with Katy Tur to discuss the 2020 democratic presidential candidate’s policies on climate change. The interview discusses 10 critical acts necessary to protect our climate and grades the candidates on how many of the 10 actions are part of their stated environmental plans. “We need the next president to take bold action on day one,” said Hartl on the show. “We need to follow the science.”